At this time of year, the Netherlands is usually carpeted in beautiful tulips, which normally attracts a huge number of visitors. They can only be enjoyed online this year however, after the Dutch government closed public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Blooming flowers in Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands
Keukenhof is the world’s largest bulb-flower garden © Olena Z/Shutterstock

The closures mean that this year's famous Keukenhof Flower Exhibit has been cancelled, which is a blow as it attracts a huge number of visitors. The festival is held annually in the 32-hectare Keukenhof, which dates back to 1857 and is located in the town of Lisse.

Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands
Keukenhof has a total of 800 varieties of tulips © mlboyer1/Budget Travel

Keukenhof is the world’s largest bulb-flower garden, with over seven million bulbs and a total of 800 varieties of tulips. It opens for just eight weeks from March to May, when its fields and planted displays of multicoloured tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are in bloom.

The festival has now decided to launch "Keukenhof Virtually Open," where it is sharing a series of videos showing what the grounds look like. Gardener Owen shows off the most beautiful hyacinths in the park in one video, while managing director Bart takes viewers to his favourite place in the park and gardener Daan shows Beach Garden, Mill Forest and the fountain.

"In the months leading up to spring, a lot of hard work has gone into providing visitors with a beautiful experience," says Keukenhof. "The park is already blooming beautifully and will become even more beautiful in the coming weeks. Keukenhof likes to show this to people under the slogan, 'If people cannot come to Keukenhof, we will bring Keukenhof to the people.'”

You can check out Keukenhof's website here and its YouTube channel here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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